The cost of road accidents in Poland is as high as 30 billion zloty annually. Half of this amount could be saved – writes the World Bank representative in Poland.
Too many Poles are still dying on the nation’s roads. Poland has one of the highest road death rates in the EU. In 2013, only Romania had a higher road fatality rate than Poland.
The country’s EU neighbours are doing a much better job of reducing traffic deaths; the average reduction in road deaths in Poland over the period 2001-2011 was only 24%, while the average reduction in the EU was almost double that, at 45%.
The police and speed cameras are making a difference
In 2001, Poland’s fatality rate was lower than the rates in Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Portugal, but ten years later, those five countries have cut deaths significantly, while Poland has not been nearly as successful. Poland is, slowly, beginning to cut road deaths, mostly because of better speed limit enforcement.
More police on the streets, combined with fixed road cameras, mobile cameras, and cameras that monitor average speeds are all helping prevent accidents. In 2012, deaths on Poland’s roads dropped by 15%, saving 618 lives and around 1.2 billion zloty in economic loss. In 2013, deaths fell by a further 6%, saving another 214 Poles and an additional 400 million zloty.
Still, too many people are killed or seriously injured on the roads. Poland can and will do better. Everyone pays for road accidents, whether through taxes, which finance emergency response crews, hospital stays, rehabilitation, lost income during recovery and, in too many cases, lifelong care for the badly hurt. According to estimates, that price tag reaches around 30 billion zloty a year.